Jester Articles
Please do
email me if any of these links are dead! I'd really appreciate it...

General Jester articles

In Praise of Folly
by Erasmus of Rotterdam, translated by John Wilson in 1688. The original classic on the subject.

History of the Fool
An excellent general article - read for a good introduction to many of the themes explored below. Papers's excellent collection of papers on juggling, including history and symbolism.

The Fools' Parade, and the Feast of Fools
by David Ricker. About the Feast of Fools, both original and at modern Renaissance Faires.

The Fool Is No Fool
by Adam D Kane. An article about the Fool of the Tarot - OK, I think astrology is garbage, but the symbolism is very interesting and the themes fairly universal to jesters.

The Fool
A general article on the metaphorical properties of the Fool. Familiar stuff, but clearly put.

Die mittelalterliche Narrenidee
A truly fascinating article on the mediaeval fool, with especial reference to the 'Ship of Fools'. In German - of which I speak just enough to get the gist of this. If I ever get the chance I'll type out a translation for it... It also features some early woodcuts of jesters which I've never seen before. Highly recommended.

PLEASE NOTE the link above appears to be bust as the site is under construction, so click here for an archived copy of the article held by the wonderful Wayback Machine.

Holy Madness
An excellent and vastly well-informed article on holy madness in a wide variety of religions. If you're interested in comparative theology or sociology, it's particularly absorbing... Please note this article appears to have disappeared from the web, so the above link is to an archived version at the Wayback Machine (what would we do without it?)

Literary articles

The Survival of the Fool in Modern Heroic Fantasy
Very interesting article about the fool in - unusually - modern storytelling.

Humor and Humor and Humor and Chaucer
by Robert V Graybill. Clowns and Chaucer, commentary and speculation.

Moral Incongruity and Humor: The 'Good Bad' Poetry of Ogden Nash
by George W Crandell. Revealing the serious heart of light verse.

The Saintly Fool figure in the fiction of Dostoevsky
by Carroll S Keith. Just a couple of paragraphs, but still interesting.

  [Back to Jester Central]